|I’m sure you’ve heard all about Windows 8.1 and hopefully you’ve had a chance to either try it out or, better still, are already using it! If you’re already up and running, then make sure you have also applied the latest Windows 8.1 update on offer – it adds some great new features, improves the usability for desktop mouse users, and adds an Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer to improve compatibility with older intranet sites. Read more about these changes on the Windows Experience Blog.
Something you may not be aware of, however, is that there is also an Enterprise Edition of Windows 8.1 in addition to the Standard and Professional Editions. What’s the difference? Well there is a comprehensive comparison chart available on the Microsoft site, but I’ll also pick out the key features here.
With Windows To Go you can create a fully manageable corporate Windows 8.1 desktop image, installed on a bootable certified USB drive, than can be used to boot Windows in BYOD scenarios.
Start Screen Control gives IT control of the start screen on company-issued devices to ensure key apps are easily accessible.
Users no longer need to connect/disconnect a VPN to access internal company resources using DirectAccess – instead, the user experience is both seamless and secure.
With BranchCache files from central servers can be locally cached, automatically, to optimise bandwidth usage across the WAN.
Enterprise Windows extends the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) scenarios with a full fidelity desktop experience including 3D graphics and USB peripheral connectivity.
IT can restrict files and apps for Users or Groups using AppLocker. Features include the ability to blacklist or whitelist apps, prevent installation, or prevent the running of pre-installed apps.
If you’re building your own internal Windows 8 app, then Windows Enterprise sideloading allows companies to install the apps on domain-joined PCs and tablets without needing to either publish to the Windows store or use separate ‘sideloading’ keys.
• DOWNLOAD and install the evaluation version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise
• LEARN about Windows 8.1 on Microsoft Virtual Academy and TechNet Virtual Labs
• DEPLOY TechNet for links to windows 8.1 resources on TechNet
• UPDATE your Windows 8.1 with the latest update